Kuro no Maou 428 – Part 1/2

Full Order

 

 

“Welcome, adventurers. Sit down, please.”

Though those were words of welcome, no one could help but feel some sort of pressure since they were coming out of King Leonhart’s mouth. Was that the majesty of a King?

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

Farkius was the first one to walk to his chair. Without getting intimidated in the king’s presence, he gracefully sat on a rustic chair.

Then all other adventurers who had gathered in this place begin to sit down after him. Of course, I am one of them.

“You can really feel the pressure here…”

The mood was so tense that you could hear people unintentionally saying things like that.

The place where we were gathered was Galahad Fortress’ military control room, which is where Farkius had been ordered to bring– or rather, lead me to. I never saw myself being in this kind of room, together with royalty, generals of the nobility, and adventurers who were former academy students. The closest I had ever been to this was when visiting the old Iskia Castle after defeating Greed-Gore, and even then I was only sightseeing.

That place was like a cold basement made with hard stone, and it looked rather unimpressive. The same could be said for this room.

In contrast with the huge Galahad Fortress, there was no useless decoration in this room, as it has been thoroughly designed with the functionality of base defense in mind. This room too had been made with thick stones, steel, and defensive magic so that it stays strong against any kind of attack. Only the deep crimson national flag of Spada and a map of Galahad Mountains hang from the windowless walls.

However, there was a sense of tension in this rugged room that was comparable to actually being on the battlefield. This tension was due to the fact that everyone here was putting their lives on the line.

I regretfully thought to myself that I should have brought Lily with me.

“The situation has unexpectedly turned into a ceasefire due to the White Dragon’s Nest… but let me tell you that you have done a good job so far.”

We, the adventurers who had been summoned to this room, quietly listened to King Leonhart’s plain and diplomatic introduction.

Just as Farkius said, the only ones here were the leaders of the ‘Gladiator’ battalion and us, the ‘Order Raid’. Only us party leaders were called, not because the other members weren’t allowed but due to space limitations, and for this reason, Lily and Fiona weren’t here with me. Which reminds me of what those two told me earlier. Lily sent me off with a ‘Good luck’, but I wasn’t sure why I would need luck in this meeting.

Looking to my right, the one sitting closest to me was the handsome Farkius, then an old woman who was as thin as a dead tree, and a woman wearing a pink full helmet. That old lady was definitely the leader of ‘Yomi’, but I wondered why the Pink one from the Blade Rangers was here at all.

After Miss Pink Arrow, several brawny men who looked like really strong adventurers were sitting in a line, and finally, and closest to King Leonhart, was the leader of ‘Gladiator’, Prince Eisenhart himself. Looking at them sitting right next to each other made me realize how much they resemble each other.

Looking to my left, several battalion members who I had never seen before were sitting next to me. We from the ‘Order Raid’ didn’t know the names of the adventurers appointed to the front lines by the battalion.

The only one I was able to recognize was the one sitting next to the king at the opposite side of Eisenhart: the leader of the ‘Iron Demon Corps’ the red orc Gustav. He is Rank 5 and has recently been awarded a medal for protecting the Iskia Village, making him one of the most prominent members of the battalion.

“Though it might be a little rushed, let’s get to the main point at once. Eis, I leave the explanation to you.”

“Yes.”

Prince Eisenhart got up from his chair looking a bit tired as a knight handed him something like a conductor’s baton– no, that was a genuine Magic Baton.

“By now I doubt anyone in this room doesn’t know about this, but there are two huge holes in our walls.”

The prince swung his baton once as he spoke with a light but strong tone of voice.

At that moment, a three-dimensional image rose from the large round table we were sitting at. Galahad’s great castle walls, composed of white light wireframes, appeared in front of us.

I wondered if that was some kind of light magic… but it looked more like special effects from a movie than actual magic. I wanted one of those for my room.

“Their exact locations are here… and here. As you can see, it’s as if the wall enclosing the fortress had been split into two sections, one to the north-right side, and the other to the south-left.”

Each of the damaged locations were indicated with a spot of red light. The size of the red spots seemed proportional to their actual holes’ size. The diagram was really easy to understand.

“We’re currently working on the repairs as soon as possible, but this blizzard has made it really difficult to make any progress in that regard. Work under these conditions is so dangerous, that in a worst-case scenario, we may lose some workers to the storm.”

But that’s the duty of the engineers. Be it during public service or out there on the battlefield, working under difficult situations is part of the job.

Still, being hit by a blizzard is far better than being exposed to a Crusader onslaught. At least those Crusaders haven’t started hurling fireballs at us for now.

“So, the ancient weapon used to make these holes, the ancient golem… ah, umm… according to reports, we have established that its name is ‘Taurus’. The problem lies in the fact that there are more of them. Not only those two that escaped, we know that they have at least a dozen more, ready to attack.”

“A dozen, huh? That’s going to be hard to beat.”

Gustav spoke with his usual weird accent. The other adventurers too reacted with the same level of surprise when learning how many of those golems were still around.

If I hadn’t heard that intel from Lily earlier, I would have been as shocked as everyone else in the room. Luckily, Prince Eisenhart’s explanation was roughly the same as what Lily had found, so I was able to keep a cool face.

Still, could it be that Lily had passed on the information she had gathered to the Spada Army without my knowledge? Or was there a brilliant intelligence agent that had been able to gather as much intel as her on the battlefield? Oh well, either was fine by me.

“Regular attacks won’t work on those guys. Their thick plating can repel even our ballistas. You need something like the firepower of the Pharos Gun or your ‘special attacks’, as we have already seen.”

So far we have been confirming facts. After this, we would be talking about what to do about those powerful Taurus, and how would we be protecting Galahad Fortress. Developing a concrete plan for those two issues was essential.

“Because of this, we will be changing the stationing of our ‘Gladiator’ corps a little as a countermeasure to the Taurus.”

They would be focusing on the places where the holes had been opened. However, since we had already been divided into the north-right and the south-left, our positions wouldn’t be changing that much.

What was relevant was the actual people who were going to be restationed.

“I will be personally leading the left-wing. The battalion will be Gustav, Lorentz, and Arrietty. The ‘Order Raid’ is ‘Yomi’ and the ‘Blade Rangers’. That being said, I’m sorry, but I will be putting the ‘Blade Rangers’ on hold for now from the ‘Order Raid’.”

“Wait a moment, what do you mean by that?”

With a loud bang on the table, Pink Arrow raised her objection.

“Please calm down. This doesn’t mean that the ‘Blade Rangers’ are no longer of use anymore.”

“But…!”

“Your ‘Five Blade Shot’ is one of the few attacks that can damage a Taurus. With a single one of those shots, you can change the state of the battlefield. In short, we need you to be able to hit a Taurus with your next shot. It’s because of the time that it will take you to prepare your next shot that I’d like you to follow this command.”

According to what I’ve heard, the special attack of the ‘Blade Rangers’, the ‘Five Blade Shot’ is a single powerful attack that completely drains their magic. It’s just like Fiona’s ‘Golden Sun’.

So, do all special techniques in this world completely drain their user of their magic? Or was it just a style thing?

“… All right. Still, on one condition.”

“If it’s something we can accommodate, then please say it.”

“Prince Eisenhart, please become the new Red Sword for the ‘Blade Rangers’.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t do that. But I can double your payment.”

“Just this once at least! Please!”

“I’m really sorry, but I can’t do that.”

“Red has always thought that you would be an appropriate replacement for him!”

“How about I triple your payment and we leave it at that?”

“…I guess it can’t be helped. But I won’t give up.”

After their negotiations had concluded, Pink Arrow finally calmed down and returned to her seat.

But how should I put it? She had quite the nerve, asking the prince of her own country to join their party at a moment like that. Well, that explained why Pink Arrow was here as leader of the Blade Rangers instead of Red Sword.

But I’ll say, I have to agree that Prince Eisenhart would make for an appropriate Red Sword.

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